Dad, two kids from Lake Oswego found by search crew - KPTV - FOX 12

Dad, two kids from Lake Oswego found by search crew

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A Lake Oswego man and his two children who got stuck while looking for snow in the Mount Hood National Forest are safe after spending the night in their SUV.

Stewart Schmidt, his 6-year-old daughter Aidan and his 15-year-old son Gabriel were spotted on foot near Timothy Lake just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. Search crews reached the family near Forest Service Road 57 about 15 minutes later.

"Thank you to the Sheriff's Department and volunteers," said Schmidt as he walked into the Estacada ranger station parking lot.

"We're doing fantastic," he told reporters.  However, Schmidt also offered some advice following his ordeal.

"Bring the proper gear when you go out to the mountain!" he said.  "Don't surpass your vehicle's abilities."

Deputies say the father and his two children were in good condition, just tired from walking.

SLIDESHOW: Family found after getting stuck in snow

Lake Oswego police say Schmidt and his children headed to the Estacada side of Mount Hood at about 11 a.m. Monday and were to return by 4 p.m.

But they ran into trouble when they took a turn off a main road and plowed into snow.

"We quickly fell into at least 3-feet deep of snow and then we started trying to dig our way out.  We got one chain on one wheel. We had to lift up the car.  And, then when we backed out, it just dug so far in that there was just no way.  We were going nowhere," said Gabriel.

After trying for hours to break themselves free, the family decided to sleep in the SUV, which they turned on for heat throughout the night. Their only food was a half-loaf of bread.

In the morning, the family began walking and were eventually rescued, after being spotted by a rescue helicopter and plane.

"We kept waving every time we saw them," said Gabriel.  "It's surprising just having this many people," he said of all the rescuers who spent hours searching for the trio.

Schmidt's ex-wife, who is the mother of the children, was the one who reported them overdue on Monday night.

She told Clackamas County deputies she wasn't sure where they were going, but listed a few places where they typically go, including Indian Henry Camp, which Lake Oswego police had described as the family's last known destination.

Search and rescue crews covered more than 200 miles of roads in the Mount Hood National Forest as part of their search for the family.

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